The BMB that didn’t happen

September 10, 2021 0 Comments

Boromir with the truth bomb

Tuesday September 7th, I was scheduled to have a bone marrow biopsy. We have to check my current level of blasts in the marrow. Blasts or myeloblasts are the most immature cells. Generally having a blast level of 20% or more is an indication of acute leukemia. Prior to my first round of chemo (Vyxeos) back in June my blasts level were 24%. After chemo and 26 days in the hospital, my next bone marrow biopsy revealed that my blasts had been reduced down to 8%. That 8% is still above the 5% threshold in order to go to transplant. So we started a reinduction of Vyxeos in hopes to drop the blasts below the necessary percentage.

After that 2nd round of Vyxeos, I was able to spend most of my time at home but still ended up doing 10 days in the hospital after I spiked a fever. Thankfully nothing came of it but I was there just in case it was more serious.

The chemo did its job and dropped my numbers. Part of the reason for my hospitalization was a neutropenic fever. With my absolute neutrophil count (ANC) at zero, sometimes you just have a spontaneous fever. Again, thankfully that’s all it was. Once my fever broke and the doctors didn’t find anything, they released me and sent me home.

As I recovered at home, we hoped that my white blood cell count would come up as well as my ANC. There’s a bottom threshold necessary in order for them to get a good bone marrow biopsy sample. They want to see what the marrow actually looks like when it’s doing job and not still under the influence of the chemo. Things might look great under chemo but when it starts producing things again there could be a totally different story.

This past Tuesday, I was supposed to have a bone marrow biopsy to determine if we could go to transplant. My counts had popped up pretty good over the weekend (needed platelets over the weekend). However my counts had still not recovered well enough to get a good result. We’re still waiting on my ANC to come up to a higher number. Surprisingly enough, the chemo is still working, mildly but it is. This made my numbers go back down slightly from over the weekend when we had seen them jump up. It’s still a bit of roller coaster ride as far as my numbers go. They’re climbing and falling, climbing and falling.

The table where my BMB didn’t happen

It was disheartening to say the least. It’s all part of the game though. It’s a lot of waiting. My patience is tested constantly. I want things to have happened yesterday (as I think most of us do). It’s that proverbial carrot on a string. There’s this thing hanging out there that I desperately want to get to but it’s just out of reach. So I have to wait another week to see if my counts come back enough to get the BMB. It’s easy to get your hopes up and get excited about potentially being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. When those hopes fall short then it’s a struggle to maintain a positive attitude. Plan for the worst but hope for the best. Sometimes, it’s simply about planning for worst and hoping for second best.

I’m in the clinic today (9/10) getting blood work and waiting to see what my numbers are. My hemoglobin is down a bit so I’m getting a blood transfusion. It’s simply a matter of when. One day at a time and keep the positive attitude.

New fancy chairs in the clinic have heat and massage too!

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